On Teaching Yoga

AmieHalfLotusBlogYoga. This beautiful, fulfilling practice that has become a beacon back to Myself. While I took pretty much my entire pregnancy off of practicing, I have added it back in to my life postpartum and I have once again been reminded of how important it is for me to maintain a regular practice. My life feels fuller and more balanced with it.

Back when I decided to do Yoga Teacher Training (Part 1, 2, and 3), I never actually imagined that I would be teaching yoga. It was more so a final adventure or hurrah before settling down and having a baby. It was something I wanted to do to deepen my practice, to learn more about the foundations, the philosophy, and how to incorporate yoga in to all of my lifestyle, not just as part of my exercise routine.

I got pregnant 2 weeks after returning from my trip. I like to think my trip played in to this… I can’t recall a time in my life ever that I have been more present for such a large chunk of time. The memories I have of Yandara and the experiences are vivid in my memory. I can recall all 5 senses of being there… The sight of the early morning sunrise through the windows of the paviliion, the sound of the waves lulling me to sleep at night, the taste of papaya and oatmeal with homemade granola, the feel of the hot sand between my toes as we walked to the beach during our lunch break, and the smell of the hot apple cinnamon tea that was consumed in large amounts instead of coffee. The trip centered me. I treated myself to massages, an astrology reading, and more importantly a reiki session to balance my chakras – something I think I needed for a long time and something I attribute to me finally getting pregnant after 16 months of trying.

So then I didn’t practice for close to 10 months, and when I did start practicing in the spring with Emily and Ebb & Flow Yoga, I was excited to make it a regular part of my life again and was hopeful she would continue teaching in Blackfalds. Then I found out she was pregnant herself 😉

When Emily asked if I wanted to rent the space she was renting to teach I was actually pretty taken back by it… Me? Teach Yoga? It honestly sounded a bit absurd at first. This was a practice I kept fairly private. Something I did for myself without blasting it on Social Media. Something that I incorporated into all aspects of my life, not just as physical asanas. Could I really teach? Would people even want to take my class?

After thinking about it for a few days I decided to give it a go.

So I went about navigating the process of setting up a class – advertising it, registering people, getting some things together to set the vibe, and sequencing my very first class.

I thought I had it *just right*. I was going to go into that classroom and kick ass at teaching Yoga. I was going to make the most zen experience for all those yogi’s they weren’t even going to know what hit them.

And then the day arrived.

And I got nervous.

And you know what energy I created in that classroom?

Nervous Energy.

I can’t deny it. There’s no point. I was really freaking nervous. I was so worried they were going to see right through me as a sham. Someone who wasn’t good enough to teach yoga. Sure, I was able to adapt the sequence to their level during the class. I was able to tone it back because what I had put together wasn’t a good fit for their first class. But it threw me for a loop.

And therein lies the problem. I let my thoughts of what others may or may not think of me cloud my thinking and take me away from the real purpose of teaching yoga. I let my energy change the feel of the class and so I fumbled on my words and I mixed up my lefts and rights and I left feeling awkward and unsure that I made the right choice to try this whole “Yoga Teacher” thing.

I took the next day (during nap time of course) to reflect on the previous evening and what I would like to do differently the next class.

I decided the next class would have a different energy. I was so worried about who I thought I should be that I forgot to just be ME.

Since that first class the vibe has changed, it’s become more fun, less like I thought it “should” be and more how it is supposed to be. Does that make sense? I’m probably just rambling. 😉

It’s been a fun ride so far. I look at my practice differently. And while I never intended to “teach” that seems to be exactly what I was meant to do and I hope to continue doing.

Namaste, ya’ll. 😉

Pregnancy Weight Gain

I finally bit the bullet.

I weighed myself this morning at 39 weeks pregnant.

Having a midwife, I didn’t have to track my weight at my appointments if I didn’t want to, as long as my other numbers where in check (blood pressure and fundal height). I’ve always measured 1-2cm behind my current week (at my 39 week appointment I was measuring 37cm), and my blood pressure has hovered around the 90-110/60-75 mark.

When I was so nauseous in the first trimester, I literally ate every two hours. And I will be the first to acknowledge the choices I made were often more unhealthy than healthy. I couldn’t stand the sight of salad, vegetables, and most fruit besides bananas. I wanted carbs, cheese, and more carbs. I was sick for 7 weeks straight. During this time, I did weigh myself a few times. And I felt sad at the numbers I saw because they were very much more than I was supposed to be gaining during my first trimester.

I stopped weighing myself at the 15 week mark with the permission of my midwife because the number I saw did play on my emotions. It didn’t constantly effect me, it didn’t make me want to restrict or binge, but it did play on my self esteem. And that was something I didn’t want to have on my mind during the pregnancy. I wanted to focus on being as healthy as I could within my means to foster the baby’s growth. I didn’t want a silly number to make me feel bad about growing my child. I wanted to, and decided to trust my body to do what it needed to and to gain the weight it was supposed to.

Seeing the number that I saw this morning was… well, not nice. It was definitely more than they recommend you gain in a pregnancy. But it wasn’t earth shattering. It didn’t send me into a depressed state or cry “Woe is Me”. It didn’t make me regret eating McDonalds or drinking all the Tim Horton’s Iced Capps I could get my hands on during the first 14 weeks. It did make me think that maybe it would have been different if I had started taking the Diclectin earlier? Would I have been able to eat vegetables instead of Beefaroni and toast? Would I have kept up more thoroughly with my exercise routine? Continued Yoga every day? Taken more group fitness classes? Would the weight gain have been significantly less if I could have eaten more normally and wasn’t pretty much confined to my bed or the couch for almost 2 months? Those are things I can’t know, because I can’t go back and see. Maybe it would have ended up with the same number on the scale. It’s hard to say.

It did make me very grateful for my husband. My sweet husband who worked away and came home every few weeks probably thought on more than one occasion “Wow” at my changing size. But he never let on to it. He never said anything to make me feel bad, much less to be acutely aware that I looked so starkly different. He touched my belly and said I didn’t look as pregnant as other women who were as far along as I was. He never once made me feel like my pregnant shape was any less desirable than my pre-pregnant shape. Whenever I did let on that I wasn’t feeling super awesome about my body he told me he thought I was beautiful and when I said “I won’t be this size forever” he said it didn’t matter what size I was. How did I get so lucky?

It also made me grateful for my kind friends who all said with sincere enthusiasm “You look great!” and to the people who still don’t 100% realize I am pregnant and say “Oh you can hardly tell!” I honestly don’t get it, and I don’t quite believe it. They are probably just being polite, or they think I’ve gotten insanely fat in a short amount of time, which makes me kind of chuckle. But that is besides the point.

The point I guess I am trying to make is that it is okay that I have gained this weight. I’ve never weighed as much as I weigh now before. None of my pre-pregnancy clothes fit, and probably won’t fit for months after I actually have the baby. My level of fitness is nothing like it was before I was pregnant. But I’ve spent the last 39 weeks letting my body do the coolest thing it has ever done. And I’ve found a way to trust it like I never have before. Those are both priceless life lessons. And there is no place for body shame or weight shame in that. There is only room for love. Love for my body, which has worked so hard to grow my daughter, and love for my daughter, who I hope with all my heart will grow up to love her own body.

 

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Yandara Yoga Part Tres – Lessons & Take Away

1. Friends will stand by your side when the waters get tough. Even if said friends just met you 14 days ago.

2. Watching the sunrise with family is better than getting an extra hour of sleep.

3. Everyone else, including that asshole who cuts you off, is enlightened. What can they teach you? What are they trying to reflect within you that you need to work on?

4. I still really dislike it when people aren’t punctual. Lol *cough* Christopher *cough*

5. I am strong. And not because I need to be to defy what I experienced growing up, but because that is who I am and that is what my spirit is.

6. We are all connected with everything.

7. My spirituality comes from inside me. I don’t need to look for the answers outside, they already lie within me.

8. Flower crowns, and laughter make the world infinitely brighter.

9. Blackberries and Strawberries are so fucking enticing when you haven’t had them in 2+ weeks.

10. I never need to fear acceptance. I never need to fear abandonment. It’s okay to let down my guard and let people into my heart.

11. I’m not that great at meditation, but I am working on it 😉

12. I really enjoy just sitting and being. I don’t allocate nearly enough time for it.

13. It’s okay to cry. It means your feelings are there and you aren’t lost in your brain. Plus my heart-strings are directly attached to my tear ducts, so that doesn’t help matters.

14. I don’t need to drink coffee or eat chocolate everyday, but I really like to do so.

15. Dairy really hurts my tummy and not eating it makes sense to me.

16. I need to make sure that I take the time to take care of myself. And that I should advocate the same for the people I love.

17. I really love Yoga. Like really, really. It makes me feel more whole. I love the lifestyle, the philosophy, and the history of it all.

18. Who needs drugs when you have Savasana? More people should do more yoga.

19. Everything is already O.K. and just how it needs to be. I don’t need to control every detail of every situation. I need to focus more on being present, centered, and aware so that I can learn the lessons life is giving me.

20. There is so much goodness, beauty, and love in the world. All you have to do is open your eyes to it.

20 lessons for the 20 souls that hold a special place in my heart.

Wishing you peace and eternal sunshine, Namaste.

 

Part Dos

Part Uno

Life is About to get Crazy (again)

Hey! Hi! Hello.

It feels like it has been a loooong time since I have done a legitimate post. Has it been? I don’t really know. :) Guess life has kept me pretty busy. I’ll just do a quick update and be on my way then!

Eating/Healthy Living – I’ve been just “Okay” in this department recently. I know I need to get my butt in to gear and somewhat get myself off of sugar/coffee because I am pretty sure they don’t serve both those things in Yandara 😉 Lord help me.

I have also been tossing around the idea of trying to lose a bit of the emotional weight that I gained back a year ago. When I first lost the weight I became so obsessed and fearful of what would happen if I gained it back.

Well, I gained some of it back. But I also worked through a lot of the emotional issues that were underlying my struggle with weight loss/weight gain/weight maintenance. And you know what? I survived. Actually, I would say I am “thriving” now. I’ve maintained my weight for close to a year now (hovering around 160lb – sometimes above that, sometimes below that). I don’t weigh myself too often because I don’t really see a point, but I am interested in lowering my weight by about 20lb to bring me to 140ish. I feel like that is a very sustainable weight for me in terms of balancing healthy eating and exercise. Unfortunately I have a sneaky suspicion that the amount of chocolate and other sweets I eat is preventing me from getting there and instead just letting me hover where I am at.

I don’t have too much of a plan in place as of yet, but I do plan on decreasing the amount of sugar that I am eating and hopefully that will in turn lower my weight. I am 100% aware of the reasons why I became obsessive and super restrictive before, and I can confidently say those issues do not effect me at this time. I also know how to handle them if/when then do poke their heads out, and I feel good about finally (maybe) bringing my weight down just a bit over a longer period.

Yoga – I am signed up for a 40 day Yoga Challenge at the Breathing Room, which for me is actually a 36 day Yoga Challenge because I am going away to Yoga School in 33 days (Holy Shit.). I have been working on my form and alignment for a lot of poses as well as working on sanskrit names and yogic philosophy. I am equal parts excited and nervous.

Work – BUSY. Wowwza. I have 2 Conferences/Meetings in May in Edmonton, then I go away for 18 days for Yoga School, then I come home for a day and then go away for a 4 day Nursing conference in Winnipeg. I only have 5 scheduled shifts in June 😀 YESSSSS. Working Days/Nights is actually going well, I have figured out how to fuel my body appropriately without starving or over eating.

Running – Hasn’t been happening. I ran 2 miles 2 weeks ago and that was fine, I could have kept going but just didn’t have it in me. I wish I still loved running like I used to, but right now, I don’t. I won’t be running in the Woody’s Half Marathon, but I will likely volunteer (Lindsey or Becky – Want to Volunteer with me?!) Maybe as the weather continues to improve I will feel the desire to run again? Maybe not. In the mean time, I am sending my running vibes to Leigh, so that her knee can heal fully.

Matthias – For those of you that don’t know, Matthias works away 2 weeks and then is home for 1 week. He has done this since October and he has finally gotten a job back in Red Deer! We are SO excited because we can hopefully spend more time together and he can actually have a life and hobbies again as opposed to just recuperating on the 5.5 days he was home on his days off (the other 1.5 were spent traveling).

Dogs are good, Cats are good, Life is good :)